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Face the Nation

News/Business. News interviews with distinguished national and foreign figures. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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00:30:00

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Israel 15, Us 8, Washington 6, Libya 5, Mccain 4, America 4, United States 4, Susan Rice 3, United Nations 3, Egypt 3, Charlie 2, Olympia Snowe 2, Margaret Brennan 2, Dick Durbin 2, Graham 2, Ignatius 2, Mali 2, U.s. 2, Turkey 2, Iraq 2,
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  CBS    Face the Nation    News/Business. News interviews with distinguished  
   national and foreign figures. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 18, 2012
    8:30 - 9:00am PST  

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1,000 strikes at gaza and warns today it will go directly after the territory hamas leaders. palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into israel, including one bound for tel aviv that was shot down by the israeli missile defense system. we'll go to our correspondents in the region for the latest. in thailand, where he was beginning his asian tour, the president strongly sided with israel. >> there's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. so we are fully supportive of israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes. and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. and we will continue to support israel's right to defend itself. >> schieffer: back home, the controversy continues over the administration handling of the
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episode in libya that left four people, including the american ambassador dead. >> this president, this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a cover-up, neither of which are acceptable to the american people. >> schieffer: mccain will be with us this morning, and we'll also get the take of the senate's number two democrat, dick durbin. for analysis we'll bring in the "washington post's" david ignatius. tom ricks, august of can the gen. and our own bob orr and margaret brennan. and we'll have a farewell interview with maine's republican senator olympia snowe, who's leaving the senate because she no longer felt it was a place she could get anything done. it's been a wild week, but we'll try to put it in perspective on "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington,
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"face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning again. we want to get right to the story in the middle east. , israel continuing to amass troops on the period with gaza. three israelis are dead, more than 50 wounded by rocket fire. the airstrikes go on. the question now, will the israelis send their ground troops into gaza? we're going first this morning to alan pizzey who is in tel aviv. allen. >> reporter: good morning, bob. overnight the israelis continued to pound positions in gaza. they've expand their operation away from just purely military targets into the hamas infrastructure. interestingly overnight hamas did not send any rockets into israel but they started again when dawn broke and around about lunchtime here in tel aviv, two long-range missiles were aimed at tel aviv, intercepted by the
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iron dome system, a new system the israelis put in that detects and interprets rockets in the air. it's been fairly successful. here in tel aviv you wouldn't know anything is going on. the siren goes off, everybody runs, but then they're back out and life is pret much back to normal. that is not to say everybody isn't teps. there are 75,000 reservists ready to go. the prime minister said after a cabinet meeting that israel would intensify the conflict if it was necessary. everybody seems to be looking for a way out of this. the egyptians are really playing a role in this to try to broker it. they've been talking to the hamas leadership. they've brought in turkey and qatar to help them out. they're all saying we think we might be able to do this. bear in mind, this is not the egypt of hosey you in barrack. the egyptian government now are muzz lum brotherhood, and israel is in a less-tenable negotiating
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position and they remain military strong but do they want to go in on the ground take hundreds of thousands of casualties? that they've within boehnered will cause them to lose the international support they have. it's one of those 50-50 chance things but it's looking like everybody is looking fair way out. the question is, in a region like this, is there a way out. >> schieffer: well allen pizzey, who always shows up in the worst place where's the workforce things are going on, thank you. cbs news correspondent charlie dag tais on the other side of the border in gaza. charlie, bring us up to speed. what is the situation like there. >> reporter: well, the mood here is extremely teps, and the biggest worry is this dangerous and unpredictable situation may be about to get worse. as we drove through the northern part gaza strip, we were shown a couple of bombed out buildings, and one looked to be three or four stories high. it completely collapsed in a densely populated neighborhood.
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we also saw crater craters that looked to be in vacant lots. they may have been targeted because these are the areas suspected to hold rocket launching sites. the israel military has also started targeting media centers, one of the transmission points that serves as the television channel for hamas other and broadcasters. the rooftop of this high rise has lots of antennas and satellite dishes on top of it. at the same time, we saw outgoing rockets. we heard a series of loud pops, sort of the signature sign of outgoing weapons, and just a few blocks away from us, we were able to count six smoke trails from where those rockets had just been launched. you can hear drones flying overhead constantly. it has never stopped since we've been here. you can hear a couple at a time at times. we also have heard fighter jets overhead recently. you can also see and hear emergency services, ambulance
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and fire trucks in the streets. but both sides seem to be ratcheting it up. as soon as we arrived our pal stippian colleagues told us to keep our flak jackets on, even ipdoors because it had become too dangerous. they said in the last 24 hours they had seen the worse since the fighting began earlier this week. >> schieffer: all right, charlie, you be careful and we thank you. >> reporter: thanks, bob. >> schieffer: here in the studio with us is david ignatius, from the "washington post." david you probably know as much about this part of the world as anybody i know, least here in washington. what is the administration doing? where is the diplomacy headed here? >> the administration has been very supportive of israel initially saying the cause for israel military action against gaza was the continuing rain of missile comes from gaza since the last cease-fire broke down. israelis tell me there have been 700 missiles and they essentially paralyzed the southern parent of israel. people just have to go indoors every time they hear the
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sirens. in the excellent reports on the scene from your correspondents i heard two new things, one the role of the egyptian president, a different kind of president we have seen in egypt, member of the muslim brotherhood, working with another strong islamist, the prime minister of turkey. the danger for israel is that they would move away from the cold peace egypt has. the opportunity for israel is they would take greater ownership of hamas and broker a cease-fire. the other new thing-- and it is really important soo israel is beginning to have a real missile defense. if your viewers go to youtube and just punch in iron dome, which is the name of this system, paid for partly with u.s. tax money, they will see amazingly effective antimissile technology at work. and that's said to be 90% successful. it discriminates between the missiles that are going to hit cities and the ones that are just going to land in the woods and takes out the ones that are headed for cities. so it's a potential game changer
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here. >> schieffer: all right, well, david you'll be back if our rowntable later in the broadcast. i want to turn now to john mccain, a member of the armed services committee, the ranking republican on armed services. senator, what can the united states do here? obviously, no bon wants this thing to spiral out of control. >> well, the united states, obviously, should be as heavily involved as they possibly can. i'm not sure how much influence that this administration has. the president's first priority in 2009 was the israeli-palestinnian peace process. obviously, there was no progress there, and there are various reasons for it. we won't waste the time. i think several things make this issue very dangerous. one is egypt and the whole change in the middle east as a result of the arab spring. egypt was always a reliable break on these palestinian factions. apparently, president
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mursi playing an active role, that's good. if it hadn't been for the iron dome israeli would be in gaza right now, that's a worthwhile u.s. investment. when we talk about foreign aid sometimes. and third of all, i think that it's very important that we recognize that the united states of america has got to push as hard as we can to resolve this israeli-palestinnian issue. and so many events are-- hinge on making that process go forward. >> schieffer: well, what can the president do to get that process going? first thing, obviously, is to get this-- get some sort of a cease-fire in place here? >> well, the first thing i would do is not do what he did back in 2009 and have preconditions on israel and settlement. that made it a nonstarter among other things. the second thing i would do, i would find someone even as high-ranking, frankly, as former
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president bill clinton to go and be the negotiator. i know he'd hate me for saying that, but we need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker. but we have a lot of work to do to regain some credibility because we're crumbling all over the middle east . al qaeda is on the comeback. you saw in the last couple of days, fighting between the kurds ankurds and iraqi on the border. the whole mali situation where al qaeda has taken over. al qaeda training camps are in western iraq. the iranians continue, as we see, the latest i.a.e.a. report on their path towards nuclear weapons. you look at the whole middle east and it's been a significant failure north to mention our reset with the russians. . >> schieffer: let's talk a little bit about libya. you were talking a lot about that. you and the president really kind of had a little set-to last week over the situation in libya because you said once again that
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you would oppose the nomination of susan rice to be secretary of state. a lot of people in the administration say she is the odds-on favorite to replace hillary clinton because of her performance on television after it the benghazi attacks when she said it was the result of spontaneous demonstrations in ejim, and not-- and was not a terrorist attack. are you standing fast on that? >> well, she has a lot of explaining to do, and i'm curious why she has not are you puddated those remarks. on this show, the libyan national president, obviously, said it was al qaeda. bob, this goes back to the beginning, this light footprint policy of this presidency. after we helped the libbians oust gaddafi, they need a lot of help-- and they could pay for it, by the way, with an army, secure the borders, get rid of these militias -- it was in a country that was basically chaotic, and we did almost nothing. and then there became these
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reports from our embassy and other personnel about attacks on our embassy twice, both in april and in june. the assassination attempt on the british ambassador. the british closed their consulate. the list goes on and on. on august 16 there was a message sent back we could not repail sustained attack on our consulate. so what was the state department doing? what was-- why didn't we on september 11 have military forls capable of intervening in a fight that lasted for seven hours? so all these questions need to be answered, and finally, for the president of the united states in the second debate said, "i said it was an act of terror in the rose garden or september 12." one, he didn't. that night, we now know, on september 12 in "60 minutes" he said, "it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved." and finally, on september 25 at the united nations, the president said a crude and
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disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. i mean, even on the 25th, after it was well known, this was an al qaeda-affiliated attack and not a spontaneous demonstration, there still was this obfuscating, and that was not appropriate for the american people. >> schieffer: let me ask you, senator-- >> could i ninely say. i wish the president wouldn't get mad at me. i wish he would spend our time finding out what happened, what caused it, and what we-- four brave americans died. their families and americans deserve to know and how to we prevent a future occurrence. >> schieffer: let me just ask you this because this is a question people ask me. if the administration misled people, if the administration was reluctant to say that this was a work of terrorists-- if, in fact, it was-- why would they be so reluctant to say that? >> i think you could assume if you're-- you know, you look at their narrative. their narrative of the president
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eye got bin laden, al qaeda's on the run, that narrative of reelection campaign. he hasn't gotten them. al qaeda is not on the run. al qaeda is making a strong comeback all over the middle east. they've got terrorist training camps in iraq. they've taken over a country. mali, in north africa. they're all over libya. so it may interfere with that narrative. but, again, there's one other aspect we've covered in other times. they said they wanted to not give classified assessment of what happened because they didn't want to betray sources. well, if a classified assessment changed the classified assessment why would you keep that from the american people? >> schieffer: in other words, you're saying the unclassified version told one story, and the classified information told another story. it's not they were just
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withholding details. you're saying they gave two different stories. >> it certainly-- certainly-- without the mention-- the unclassified without the mention-- the mention of al qaeda. and we all know now that al qaeda-affillated groups were behind this and that it was not a spontaneous demonstration. so we really need to get through this. we need to work together for the sake of these families. but to tell the american people even on the 25th of september when it was well known, before the united nations, that a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage, we know that-- >> schieffer: would you-- senator, would you be willing to reconsider susan rice's nomination if in fact she's nominated or if she can explain to you-- give you a better explanation of the-- >> i think we give all nominees the benefit of a hearing process, et cetera. maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, "i was wrong.
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i gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks ago." that might be a beginning. . >> schieffer: but until then, you will remain opposed to her nomination. >> under the present circumstances, i don't-- until we find out all the information as to what happened-- i don't think you could want to support any nominee right now because of this is-- this is very, very serious, and it has even large are implications than the deaths of four americans. it really goes to the heart of this light footprint policy that this administration has been pursuing. and all of the failures throughout middle east that are-- the chickens are now coming home to roost. >> schieffer: all right, senator, thank you so much for being with us. we'll get another take on this in one minute.
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leadership dick durbin of illinois. senator durbin, we should start right out with what senator mccain just said. what's your response? >> eight years ago, when president bush suggested condoleezza rice for secretary of state, some people said, "well, wait a minute. wasn't she part of misleading the american people about intelligence information that led to our invasion of iraq?" and it was senator mccain and senator graham who stood up and said don't hold her accountable for the intelligence that was given to her. she was simply relating what she had heard. eight years later, susan rice, who may or may not be a nominee for secretary of state, is being held by senator mccain and senator graham to an entirely different standard. what she reported on your show and others was what she was told by the intelligence agencies. as more information came in, that rendition of facts was abridged and changed. but it wasn't her fault. and to say she has to be held accountable because an
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intelligence agency didn't tell the whole story initially for reasons of national security is totally unfair. >> schieffer: well we-- i would point out just one thing, she came on, on this broadcast immediately after the president of libya, who said flatley, this was the work of terrorists, some of them from mali,s" from outside the country. and secretary rice stuck to her-- stuck to her story, as it were, and said, no, our best information is, it was a result, a reaction of those demonstrations that were happening in egypt. i guess what i would ask you, senator, do you honestly believe as an ambassador at one of our key ambassadors to the united nations, all secretary rice would have known about this was what somebody gave her niin a set of talking point to be on television? >> well, bob, that's exactly what happened. and to say "she stuck to her
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story" i don't think is accurate. she stuck to the story that was given her by her intelligence agencies a very short time after this incident occurred. now general petraeus and others are explaining, well, we didn't quite tell everything because we didn't want to jeopardize friends of the united states and lib 82 who were providing us with information. to hold ambassador rice accountable for a decision by intelligence agencies -- not by her, not by the white house-- to withhold some part of the information is fundamentally unfair. >> schieffer: do you think there's anything kind of peculiar about this, though, senator? why is it-- why is this controversy going on? why was the administration reluctant to tell us what we now know they knew? >> well, the intelligence agencies were reluckant,aise mentioneddarier, they didn't want to compromise sources. and i understand that. but i also think this issue was stoked up because it was in the midst of a presidential campaign. bob, you can remember,
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throughout history, we have had these terrible incidents. it was under president reagan that 230 united states marines were killed in a barracks in beirut, lebanon. a terrible tragedy. people didn't call for the impeachment of president reagan. they said let's find out what happened, hold those responsible accountable. that's the same thing we should do here, and as we hold these hearings in the foreign relations commitee which i attended last week in a classify setting-- and the intelligence committees more and more information comes forward. we'll be able to make america safer and keep those who represent our country in dangerous places safer if we take an honest and objective view of what happened in beg. >> schieffer: all right, senator, we didn't have a lot of time this morning but i do want to thank you for coming by and giving that side of the story. i'll be right back with some thoughts of my own on another subject.
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to hit in january." i'm not exactly an optimist about congress doing the right thing. you'll get better odds wagering they won't do anything. but republican and democratic leaders came out of their meeting with the president friday smiling and calling it a good meeting. it's been a while since we've heard even that. republicans said they were serious about finding more revenue to run the government. democrats said they were serious about spending cuts. staffers are already working this weekend on the framework of a deal to be presented to the president after thanksgiving. now i've been saying that chances for a deal were slim to none. well i'm changing that to a maybe. we are still a long, long way from a deal, but in today's washington, we are a long way from where we were just a week ago. back in a minute. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars
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>> for most of you we'll be right back with an interview with olympia snowe and david ignatius, tom ribs, bob orr and margaret brennan. stay with us ,,,,,,,,,,
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[the captioning on this program is provided as an independent